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SkyShowtime names former Disney Executive Chief Business Officer

SkyShowtime, the European streaming joint venture of Sky owner Comcast and Showtime owner Paramount Global, has named former Disney executive Hristina Georgieva to the role of chief business officer, starting later this year.

Reporting to CEO Monty Sarhan, Georgieva will be based in London and serve as the company’s lead on distribution issues and partnerships and have responsibility for all business-to-business revenue. She will “oversee and lead new business development and partnerships with cable, satellite, and telco distributors, as well as platforms, device manufacturers, and other partners, including retailers as well as consumer products and services,” the firm said.

Georgieva previously worked as vp affiliate distribution and commercial development at Disney for four years and was part of the team that launched Disney+ across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, including negotiating its first deals with distribution partners, including in many of SkyShowtime’s more than 20 territories.

Prior to Disney, she held senior roles at Fox Networks Group and Discovery where she led pan-European commercial strategies, partnerships and distribution. Georgieva will be based in London and join the SkyShowtime team later this year.

“Over her career, she has established an impressive track record as a skilled dealmaker,” said Sarhan. “She is uniquely qualified to lead our distribution and partnerships function across Europe. With SkyShowtime now live across all markets, her extensive experience in expanding distribution and delivering revenue will help drive SkyShowtime’s next phase of growth.”

Said Georgieva: “I am looking forward to working together with Monty and the SkyShowtime team to grow the business, forge new partnerships with distributors and partners, and help to bring their iconic, high-quality entertainment to more audiences.”

SkyShowtime has continued to expand its teams across its offices in Amsterdam, Budapest, Denmark, London, Madrid, Stockholm and Warsaw.

On Monday, Sarhan also unveiled the appointment of two additional senior hires who will be joining the joint venture from other major streaming services. Both will be part of the firm’s newly formed strategy team and report to chief strategy officer Roberto Soto, who joined SkyShowtime late last year from HBO Max.

Anazia Budhwar is the company’s new director of content strategy, working with SkyShowtime’s programming team to “optimize acquisition and originals strategies and drive engagement.” She joins from Netflix where she served as strategy and planning lead for more than three years. Before her time at Netflix, she worked at NBCUniversal in London.

Meanwhile, SkyShowtime named Brett Horowitz vp commercial strategy, overseeing subscriber growth strategy across direct-to-consumer and business-to-business segments and supporting the marketing and distribution and partnerships teams. He most recently worked at HBO Max where he served in a number of roles, including as head of data, insights and planning. Prior to that, he was CFO of HBO Nordics for more than seven years. Horowitz began his media career as a member of HBO’s finance team in New York.

Said Sarhan: “Along with Hristina, these hires show that SkyShowtime is becoming a magnet for talent throughout Europe.” The Hollywood Reporter

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